No. 16/15 Gamecocks Downed In MSG Battle, 67-64, By Seton Hall
Dec. 13, 2016
NEW YORK – No. 16/15 South Carolina (8-1) suffered its first loss of the season Monday night, as it fell 67-64 in a hard-fought battle with Seton Hall (8-2) at Madison Square Garden in the Under Armour Reunion. Sophomore guard PJ Dozier led the Gamecocks with 20 points (9-of-19), marking his third-straight 20-point outing.
The Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Carolina answered with a 7-0 run fueled by three turnovers (two steals) and four points from senior Justin McKie, who was making his second career start.
South Carolina’s stifling defense forced six turnovers in the game’s opening eight minutes. Seton Hall’s Myles Powell hit a 3 to end a three minute scoring draught for the Pirates, but sophomore Chris Silva answered with an offensive board and put back to give the Gamecocks a 14-13 lead with 10:57 remaining in the opening half.
It was a physical first period, as both teams would be in the bonus with 10:17 left. Senior guard Duane Notice popped to the wing and hit Carolina’s first 3 of the game with 8:29 left to make it 19-17. A Dozier steal and layup pushed it to 21-17, forcing a timeout by Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard with 7:32 left. The steal was the Gamecocks 10th forced turnover of the half.
Two free throws by freshman forward Sedee Keita pushed Carolina’s run to 7-0 and made the score 23-17 with 7:10 left. Dozier then drove to the hole on the Gamecocks’ ensuing possession and spun away from the hoop to hit a smooth, fade away jumper, extending the run to 9-0. The made basket gave Carolina its biggest lead of the first half at 25-17 with 6:54 remaining.
The Pirates leading scorer Khadeen Carrington hit a contested 3 with 2:31 left to cut Carolina’s lead to 29-26. Sophomore guard Hassani Gravett answered back with a long ball of his own to push the lead back to six with 1:43 left. Dozier slashed to the hoop and scored just before the half to put the Gamecocks up 34-27 at the break.
South Carolina ended the first half with a 22-6 edge in points in the paint. The Gamecocks held Seton Hall to just 26 percent shooting (7-of-27) in the first half after forcing 13 turnovers and notching eight steals. Dozier led all scorers at halftime with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
The team’s exchanged baskets early in the second half, as the Gamecocks led 40-35 at the under 16 media timeout with 15:43 on the clock. A Seton Hall dunk from Desi Rodriguez after the timeout cut it to three, but Carolina was again able to answer as Gravett knocked down a jumper from the left wing.
Seton Hall then went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 42-42 with 14:37 left. Dozier followed with a 3, however, when he took the extra pass from Notice and connected from the corner to make it 45-42. The 3 was his sixth-straight made basket. With the shot clock dwindling, Gravett then hit a deep 3 on the ensuing possession to make it 48-43 Gamecocks with 13:38 left.
The Pirates clawed back into it and took their first lead at 49-48 since midway through the first half on a made free throw by Myles Powell with 12:23 remaining. The game would be tight and back-and-forth the rest of the way.
After Seton Hall jumped ahead 57-55 after a made free throw by Delgado, Dozier made a tough hoop to tie it back up at 57-57 with 6:02 left. Delgado answered the basket with a dunk to put the Pirates back in front 59-57 with 4:32 left in the ball game. McKie came up with a huge steal and nailed a 3 from the corner to put Carolina back ahead 60-59 with 3:53 left on the clock.
Carrington knocked down another midrange jump shot to put the Pirates ahead 63-60 with 2:05 left. Rodriguez then went 1-of-2 at the charity stripe to make it 64-60 with 1:49 left. Sophomore forward Maik Kotsar made a big shot from the left wing on the ensuing possession to cut Seton Hall’s lead to 64-62 with 1:34 remaining.
McKie then made another big time defensive play for the Gamecocks stealing it away from Rodriguez with 31 seconds left. He was fouled and headed to the line with a 1-and-1 chance to tie it up. The senior was clutch, knocking down both free throws to tie it at 64-64.
Rodriguez took it hard to the hole and scored a contested layup to put the Pirates ahead 66-64 with 11 seconds left. Dozier got off a solid look from 3 with 3 seconds left, but could not knock it down. Carolina fouled and Rodriguez made 1-of-2 from the line. Dozier launched a full-court heave that rattled in-and-out as time expired for the Seton Hall win.
Seton Hall held a 49-35 advantage on the glass, including an 18-12 edge in offensive rebounds.
- Sophomore PJ Dozier, who tallied his first career 20-point game vs. Vermont on Dec. 1, scored 20 again for his third-straight outing with 20-plus.
- South Carolina forced 17 turnovers, including 10 steals.
- The 10 steals marked the Gamecocks fourth-consecutive game with 10-plus steals since tallying 11 vs. Syracuse on Nov. 26 in Brooklyn.
- Sophomore guard Hassani Gravett tallied his first career game in double-figures after scoring 11 Monday night.
- Gravett tied a career-high with two 3-pointers.
- Sophomore Chris Silva logged a season-high 29 minutes.
- Silva, who had four blocks Monday, has had two or more blocks in seven of Carolina’s nine games.
South Carolina travels to Tampa, Fla., to face USF on Saturday, Dec. 17, following Monday’s matchup vs. Seton Hall. The Gamecocks posted an 81-63 win over the Bulls last season in Columbia behind 19 points from then-senior forward Michael Carrera. Game time in Tampa is set for 1 p.m. ET and the contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
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